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Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos has hired most of the former management team of Hispanic agency CreatAbility, Coral Gables, Fla. to open its own U.S. Hispanic unit. Jose Lopez-Varela, CreatAbility's former managing partner, will be VP-managing director, joined by Alejandro Barreras, creative director, and Henry Gomez, planning director, who will both hold the same titles at the new agency. All three men and the rest of CreatAbility's reduced staff were laid off at the end of January, after founder and CEO Ritchie Lucas told them he was unable to find new investors for the 13-year-old independent. Mr. Lucas did not return phone calls. CreatAbility had handled Hispanic advertising for Hill Holliday clients like Dunkin' Donuts. Mr. Lopez-Varela said the new Hispanic group will initially work out of a Hill Holliday office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. QwikFIND aao49d

Grey net income more than doubles

Grey global group posted $9.5 million in net income for the quarter, up from a $28.6 million loss in 2001, and showed net income of $18.3 million for the year, up from a $24.4 million loss in 2001. Factoring out $32.2 million in restructuring charges, write down of Internet investments and other accounting charges in 2001, net income still more than doubled, from $3.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2001 and $7.8 million for the year. Revenue rose 10.5% for the fourth quarter, to $333.6 million, but was down 1.4% for the year, to $1.2 billion. The company blamed the drop on weakness in some Northern European and Latin American markets. QwikFIND aao48t

PBS and TiVo join forces for study

The public Broadcasting Service will study the viewing patterns of consumers who own digital video recorders in a six-month alliance with TiVo. Under the arrangement, PBS will promote three prime-time series on TiVo Showcases, the personal TV service's opt-in long-form advertising venue. PBS will also study how TiVo subscribers use the service to search out programming with keywords and use TiVo's iPreview electronic tags on selected video clips to measure viewer response patterns. TiVo's more than 600,000 subscribers will be able to access trailers and exclusive video clips from "Manor House" and "History Detectives," two PBS original programs, and its long-running "Nova" series. PBS partnered with TiVo last fall to promote programming related to the one-year anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. QwikFIND aao49a

McDonald's gets back in the game

Eighteen months after McDonald's Corp. swore off sweepstakes in the wake of a disastrous scandal involving its promotions firm, Simon Marketing, the Golden Arches is rolling out an instant-win game March 25 called Winning Time. Branded specifically for McDonald's, the game offers a grand prize of $100,000 in cash and other prizes including corvettes, a Winnebago and face time with celebrities. Its more than 7,500-word official rules spell out verification, disqualification and other ominous warnings, illustrating how vigilant the fast-feeder has become since the scandal. The company has dedicated internal and third-party teams that now audit and monitor activities of every phase of game execution. QwikFIND aao49v

Wunderman names Sable to global post

Wpp group's Wunderman has named David Sable vice chairman-president of worldwide operations, reporting directly to Chairman-CEO Daniel Morel. In this newly created position, Mr. Sable will provide strategic counsel to the company's global clients, which include IBM Corp., Citibank and Kraft Foods. Mr. Sable has held jobs at WPP's Y&R Advertising and Burson-Marstellar. He left the WPP fold for an entrepreneurial stint to launch GenesisDirect, which eventually became publicly traded. Prior to joining Wunderman in August 2000, he headed Y&R 2.1, part of Young & Rubicam.Taking over Mr. Sable's responsibilities as head of Wunderman, New York, is Barry Kessel, head of Wunderman's global IBM account.


Sean neall was named exec VP-global business director on the Ford Motor Co. account at WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, Detroit. Mr. Neall, 51, succeeds Mike O'Malley, who resigned suddenly on March 3 after less than two years on the job. Mr. O'Malley was also president of the agency's Detroit and Houston offices. JWT said the president's role remains unfilled, and that Mr. Neall starts later this month. His last post since 2000 was VP-European operations for consultancy Urban Science Applications. QwikFIND aao49n. ... Lawn-care company Scotts Co. has struck a cross-platform co-branding deal breaking this week with the Weather Channel, marking the first time the network has integrated advertiser content into its programming. QwikFIND aao49i...The first evidence of Coca-Cola Co.'s $500 million, 11-year sponsorship deal with the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Viacom's CBS surfaces next week. Coca-Cola will be all over the three-week NCAA men's basketball tournament with several executions. Coke will sponsor highlights, half-time promotions, a promotional shooting contest on CBS's "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn," and have its Dasani water and Minute Maid drink logos appear courtside during both the men's and women's tournament, which begin March 20. ... Nestle and Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream last week scrambled to divest brands and distribution networks in response to antitrust actions filed by the Federal Trade Commission aimed at halting Nestle's $2.8 billion purchase of Dreyer's. In a statement,the companies said that they remain "committed to their transaction and confident that they will be able to consummate it." QwikFIND aao49f

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